Owning your own home is a dream that can quickly turn into a nightmare. From paying too much for the wrong home to neglecting to maintain it, minor missteps can have big consequences. For example, one common maintenance error is trying to fix your air conditioner yourself instead of finding affordable AC repair.
This blog post will break down the dos and don’ts of homeownership to help you avoid costly mistakes.
The Dos of Homeownership
To get your new homeownership journey off on the right food, here are a few dos:
Research and Planning
Before you can begin house-hunting, researching various aspects of owning a home can save you time in the long run. One of the most important things to research is the housing market in the area you want to buy a home. Are the homes in your price range, or would you be living outside your means, scrambling to make the mortgage every month?
Some people may have the funds to buy a starter home outright, but many people only pay the initial down payment and the rest with a secured loan (mortgage.) However, if you stray outside your budget and fall behind on payments, your home could face foreclosure.
That’s why it’s important to set a reasonable budget before looking at any homes for sale.
Finding the Right Property
You might fall in love with the first house you see, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Upon home inspection, you may find many issues with the home that make it undesirable. But let’s back up – what should you do before you begin house hunting?
For one, contact a real estate agent who can help you find the perfect home in the right location. Real estate agents can narrow down the choices based on your budget, desired amenities, and preferred neighborhood.
Financing and Purchase
Once you’ve found a house, the next step is figuring out how you will pay for it. If you’re able to pay for it upfront, great! Even if you don’t have a house in mind yet, you can take the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage to speed up the process once you do find your dream house.
The listing price is not always the final price. You can often negotiate a lower price to bring the cost down to your budget.
If you’re concerned about your finances, this website presents motivational speakers who may inspire you in all aspects of your life, including your financial health.
Maintenance and Repairs
While there are many upsides to owning your own home, shouldering the repairs and upkeep isn’t one! Home repairs are expensive, but not as expensive as avoiding the issue. It won’t go away – it will just get worse and more expensive.
Cleaning the gutters, landscaping, and inspecting your plumbing system are just a few things that come with home maintenance.
The Don’ts of Homeownership
Here are some of the don’ts of owning your own home:
Perhaps you’ve found your dream house, but it needs a lot of work. You may have to pass on the fixer-upper to stay within your budget. It’s not just the price of the home that could set you back financially, but any initial repairs or upgrades.
Neglecting Regular Maintenance
We’ve already discussed the importance of regular maintenance, but its importance goes beyond home ownership.
If you’re a homeowner who also happens to be a restaurant owner, commercial range hood cleaning is essential to keeping your restaurant clean and safe.
Underestimating Hidden Costs
The process of buying a home can come with a lot of hidden costs if you aren’t careful. If you apply for a mortgage loan, you must pay for a home appraisal to determine how much the home is worth. Tack that cost onto the home inspection, which is also the buyer’s responsibility.
The negotiations we mentioned earlier often include whether the buyer will pay closing costs and how much. And then there’s the cost of moving into your new home. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for property and school taxes to your local government.
All told, home ownership is an expensive undertaking, but it’s worth it in the end!